José Rivera (playwright)

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José Rivera (2009)

José Rivera (born March 24, 1955) is a playwright.


  • …I think the most important thing for me is to give flesh and blood reality to people who are far away and distant from most American concerns. It's very easy to stick to the one-dimensional labels, and my hope is to completely explode the labels and reveal the flesh and blood and soul of each of the women in the play and to really make it impossible to walk away from the play with your prejudices still intact…
  • I have a natural tendency toward theatricality and poetic language...I've never really written realism…and I wanted to give it a shot.
    • On his play School of the Americas in “José Rivera” in The New York Times (2006 Feb 26)
  • I was lucky…because my grandparents, who lived with us, were illiterate but they were great storytellers, so I got a kind of storytelling bug from them.
    • On learning the art of storytelling despite growing up around few books in “José Rivera” in The New York Times (2006 Feb 26)
  • …I like “mad realism.” I grew up with a mother who wanted to be a nun and we had pictures of angels all over the house. My grandparents told ghost stories. Seeing magic in the world just felt like how you perceive life. I didn’t know anything about magic realism, really, until I started reading One Hundred Years of Solitude in college and suddenly everything that I grew up with was there on the page — the same love stories, stories of obsession, stories of interacting with spirits…

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